Aquarium staff member feeding terrapins

Full-Time Employment

The Virginia Aquarium recruits and hires most employees through the City of Virginia Beach, and offers generous professional development opportunities! View available full-time positions on the City's website.

Part-Time Contract Employment

We are currently hiring for the following part-time positions:

Salary 

$15/hour

Hours 

Will vary but will include weekends and some evenings.

Duties

  • Provide an exceptional experience for Aquarium guests.
  • Interact and engage with guests.
  • Facilitate one-on-one, small group, and large group programs, thematic evening events, and
  • science demonstrations.
  • Facilitate one-on-one interactions with Aquarium guests in key engagement areas throughout
  • both buildings including the Chesapeake Bay, Ray and Jellies Touch Pools, Sea Turtles, Sharks
  • and Otters.
  • Provide guests with educational information including conservation messages.
  • Provide and support additional educational engagement opportunities as needed.
  • Assist guests with customer service needs.
  • Coach and mentor teen and adult docents.

Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • Any combination of college coursework and work or volunteer experience equivalent to two years that includes science or education studies or teaching in an informal learning environment.

Preferences

Work or volunteer experience at an informal education site (aquarium, museum, zoo, etc.); customer service experience; excellent verbal presentation skills; ability to communicate effectively with guests of all ages; ability to handle tasks independently and with attention to detail.

How to Apply

Send a resume, cover letter, and two references to Karen Burns, Guest Engagement Supervisor.

Email: KPBurns@VirginiaAquarium.com (Include Guest Engagement Educator in the subject line)

or

Mail to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

717 General Booth Blvd.

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Attention: Karen Burns

Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Hourly Rate

$15.00

Hours

Flexible shifts including weekends and holidays and be available to work between the hours of 8:30am and 6:30pm.

Duties

Provide exceptional guest service that transforms a day at the Aquarium from ordinary to extraordinary.

  • Greet all guests in line of sight with a smile, a verbal greeting, and approachable friendliness.
  • Sell merchandise, answer questions about the merchandise, maintain a clean and organized sales floor, and restock and process merchandise.
  • Receive payment by cash, credit cards, or vouchers. Issue receipts, refunds, or change due to guests.
  • Assist guests in a friendly and positive manner by using your knowledge of Aquarium offerings, prices, membership, directions, and general information.
  • Become familiar with the Aquarium's story – history, accomplishments, and future goals.
  • Go beyond what is expected – deliver personal experiences that inspire, delight, and engage.
  • Project a professional image while in uniform.

Requirements

  • Must be able to work flexible shifts including weekends and holidays and be available to work between the hours of 8:30am and 6:30pm.
  • This is a position that requires the applicant to stand for long periods of time, it is not a seated position.

Preferences

  • Outstanding customer service skills.
  • Completion of at least two years of high school.
  • Enthusiastic, motivated, and enjoy working with people.
  • Cash handling experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

How to Apply

Send a resume via email to TOCarrol@vbgov.com.

Hourly Rate

$15/hour

Hours

Will vary including some weekends and evenings.

Duties

Duties include:

  • Establishing relationships with and monitoring the participation of Sensible Seafood program partners.
  • Working with team members to create and conduct presentations for community-based organizations (outreach) and represent Sensible Seafood at community-based events.
  • Recruit new program partners.
  • Serving as a liaison for the Aquarium Sensible Seafood team and the program partners
  • Interacting and engaging with guests onsite and at offsite events.
  • Facilitating one-on-one, and small-group presentations onsite and at outreach events.
  • Develop and implement conservation-focused educational information and talking points.

Requirements

  • High school diploma.
  • Any combination of college coursework and work or volunteer experience equivalent to two years that includes science or education studies or teaching in an informal learning environment.

Preferences

Work or volunteer experience at an informal education site (aquarium, museum, zoo, etc.); customer service experience; excellent verbal presentation skills; ability to communicate effectively with guests of all ages; ability to handle tasks independently and with attention to detail.

How to Apply

Send a resume, cover letter, and two references to Karen Burns, Guest Engagement Supervisor.

Email: KPBurns@VirginiaAquarium.com (Include Sensible Seafood program educator in the subject line)

Hourly rate

$15.00

Hours

Hours vary, some weekends required.

Duties

Assist the horticulture section with nature trail and horticulture exhibit maintenance, including but not limited to:

  • Mulching, maintaining, and weeding plant and shrub beds, lawn areas, and walkways
  • Pruning and trimming trees and shrubs
  • Planting, raking, collecting, and removing debris
  • Operation of a lawnmower, leaf blower, and weed eater
  • Loading and unloading tools, equipment, soil, gravel, and sand for project assignments
  • Maintaining plants in an indoor environment
  • Storm damage cleanup
  • Other horticultural duties as required.

Requirements

  • High school graduate or GED plus some outdoor work experience.
  • Ability to use common gardening and hand tools.
  • Ability to perform physical labor under various climate conditions for extended periods.
  • Ability to bend and kneel for extended periods.
  • Ability to use a backpack blower and string trimmer for extended periods.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds. Interact with staff, volunteers, and public in a pleasant and professional manner.

Preferences

  • Have a general knowledge of horticulture practices and a desire to learn.
  • Knowledge of native Virginia plants is desirable, but not required.
  • Horticulture experience is a plus.

To Apply

Email your resume and cover letter to BRoosa@VirginiaAquarium.com
or
mail to
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

If selected, applicants will be hired through Abacus Staffing Services.

Internships

We offer several internships for college students throughout the year. These unpaid volunteer positions provide career exploration for rising college juniors and seniors seeking academic credit with an interest in pursuing careers related to biology, marine biology, science education, aquarium sciences, or related support staff positions.

The Virginia Aquarium’s Veterinary Science & Research Division is now accepting Acquisitions and Quarantine intern applications for summer 2024. There is one position available. The application deadline is February 28, 2024. Notification of acceptance will occur no later than March 31, 2024. The internship start date is flexible, starting between May and June. Please note that this is an unpaid experience, and the Virginia Aquarium does not provide intern housing. Interns are fully responsible for fulfilling all requirements of their home institutions to receive academic credit.

Responsibilities

Assist with aquatic husbandry and maintenance at Virginia Aquarium’s Marine Animal Care Center. This will include:

  • Marine and freshwater specimen collection (seine net, hook and line, dip net, trawl net, etc.).
  • Disease recognition and treatment of marine and freshwater fish.
  • Water chemistry testing and treatment.
  • Food preparation, feeding aquatic animals, cleaning habitats, system maintenance and repair.
  • Involvement with various marine mammal and sea turtle stranding activities and participation in various field research projects.

Qualifications

  • Current student or recent college graduate with coursework in biology, marine science, fisheries science, or related field.
  • A strong career interest in fisheries management, aquaculture, public aquarium management, or marine science.
  • Previous field and/or laboratory research and small boat handling experience are a plus.
  • Must know how to swim and be SCUBA certified. Open water level preferred.
  • Must be able to work in extreme environmental conditions for up to 8 hours.
  • Must have the ability to lift 50 pounds.

Position Requirements

Based on school requirements.

Internship Learning Objectives

Based on school requirements.

Intern Schedule

The schedule is flexible, with a minimum requirement of 2-3 days a week.

Minimum Commitment Required

This internship has a minimum requirement of 8 weeks.

Intern Supervisor/Mentor

Acquisition, Quarantine & Boat Operations Manager.

Work Location

Virginia Aquarium’s Darden Marine Animal Conservation Center is the base site. The location of activities will vary.

Application Requirements

A complete Acquisition & Quarantine Intern application packet must include the following components. Only complete application packets will be considered.

Completed Application Packets

Email the completed application packet to: Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com and copy JThompso@VirginiaAquarium.com. Please put "A&Q Intern Application Packet" in the subject line.

OR

Mail your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

717 General Booth Boulevard

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Attn: Volunteer Engagement - Intern Applicant

The Virginia Aquarium’s Guest Services Division is now accepting applications for a Guest Engagement-Community Engagement Intern. The application deadline is open until a candidate has been selected. Interns are expected to complete 160 hours over three consecutive months, depending on semester dates. Please note that this is an unpaid experience, and the Virginia Aquarium does not provide intern housing. Interns are fully responsible for fulfilling all requirements of their home institutions to receive academic credit.

Position Overview

The Guest Engagement-Community Engagement Intern will be responsible for helping develop and implement Discovery Garden programs and Grab Go Show bags with a focus on fun educational content accessible to an early learning audience.

Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement Discovery Garden activities that encourage the exploration of nature and science through play for a young audience.
  • Facilitate programs that cater to an early learning audience that share core conservation messages that are easy for all guests to understand.
  • Create opportunities for a wide age range of children, including pre-kindergarten and school-aged children, to explore and learn about nature at the key engagement areas in the Aquarium.
  • Develop Grab Go Show bags to compliment messaging at key engagement areas: Rays, Upland River, and Sharks.
  • Conduct evaluation on the Discovery Garden programming offered to ensure educational goals are met.
  • Work with staff to ensure guests’ needs are met with excellent customer service.

Required Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be a rising sophomore, junior, or recent graduate.
  • Must be self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, and responsible. Should work well independently as well as with a team.
  • Must be physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds, and stand outdoors for long periods.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrate interest in a career in environmental education and/or science communication.
  • Have some experience working with an early learning or young audience.
  • Have excellent communication skills.
  • Be comfortable talking to guests and providing good customer service.

Position Requirements

  • Possess a valid U.S. driver’s license.
  • Pass a City of Virginia Beach background check.
  • Be available to work during the Aquarium’s operating hours, 9:00am-5:00pm, and until 6:00pm during the summer, which includes weekends and holidays.

Intern Learning Objectives

  • Develop fundamental engagement skills and test strategies for informal environmental education communication.
  • Gain programming and facilitation skills by overseeing the entire program planning process.
  • Facilitate teamwork through positive actions and activities.
  • Deliver a formal report of the experience that includes insight and knowledge gained that can be shared with the education staff in an informal presentation.

Intern Schedule

The internship schedule is flexible to accommodate classes and work obligations.

Minimum Commitment Required

160 hours over a consecutive three-month period.

Intern Supervisor/Mentor

Equity, Community, and Learning Team Lead.

Work Location

Virginia Aquarium’s Main and South Buildings.

Application Requirements

A complete Guest Engagement-Community Engagement Intern application packet must include the following components. Only complete application packets will be considered.

Completed Application Packets

Email the completed application packet to: Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com and copy KPBurns@VirginiaAquarium.com. Please put "Guest Engagement Intern Application Packet" in the subject line.

OR

Mail your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

717 General Booth Boulevard

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Attn: Volunteer Engagement - Intern Applicant

The Virginia Aquarium’s Science Education Division is now accepting School Programs Intern applications for summer 2024. There is one unpaid position available. The application deadline is March 1, 2024. Notification of acceptance will occur no later than April 1, 2024. The internship duration is flexible between May 2024 and August 2024. Please note that this is an unpaid experience, and the Virginia Aquarium does not provide intern housing. Interns are fully responsible for fulfilling all requirements of their home institutions to receive academic credit.

Position Overview

The intern will be introduced to various educational programs to help build marine science knowledge, public speaking and presentation skills, and confidence in teaching all ages in an informal setting.

Responsibilities

  • Engage school-aged children with live animal presentations and hands-on activities at the Aquarium and offsite at schools, daycares, rec centers, and libraries.
  • Engage school-aged children with live animal presentations, interactive discussions, Q&A sessions, and viewing aquarium habitats in a virtual setting.
  • Work with education specialists to complete administrative tasks and special projects related to school programming. Tasks may include developing new lesson plans and activities, conducting inventories, organizing supplies, and updating training materials.

Qualifications

  • An interest in science or education.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Comfortable interacting with children and adults.
  • Public speaking and customer service experience preferred.

Position Requirements

The intern will be expected to work with education staff to develop presentation skills and deliver program components to school-aged children. Depending on the intern’s objectives, they may work to create a special presentation or project.

Intern Learning Objectives

  • Review program outlines and animal information to build knowledge.
  • Shadow education staff during programs to build knowledge and presentation skills.
  • Co-instruct with education staff to practice skills and improve ability to communicate effectively with all ages.

Intern Schedule

Most education programs take place Monday - Saturday between 8:00am-5:00pm. Some programs will require an earlier start for travel or are scheduled in the late afternoon. Interns must have a flexible schedule to assist with all programs during the summer.

Minimum Commitment Required

A minimum of 100 hours is required. The total hours can be determined based on the intern’s objectives and school credit requirements.

Intern Supervisor/Mentor

Virginia Aquarium’s School and Youth Programs Specialist.

Work Location

Virginia Aquarium’s Main Building, South Building, and off-site locations.

Application Requirements

A complete School Programs Intern application packet must include the following components. Only complete application packets will be considered.

Completed Application Packets

Email the completed application packet to: Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com and copy DPMartin@VirginiaAquarium.com. Please put "School Programs Intern Application Packet" in the subject line.

OR

Mail your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

717 General Booth Boulevard

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Attn: Volunteer Engagement - Intern Applicant

The Virginia Aquarium’s Science Education Division is now accepting Summer Camp Intern applications for summer 2024. The application deadline is March 1, 2024. The internship duration is flexible, from late May to mid-June 2024 and ending in August. Please note that this is an unpaid experience, and the Virginia Aquarium does not provide intern housing. Interns are fully responsible for fulfilling all requirements of their home institutions to receive academic credit.

Position Overview

Interns aid instructors in providing a safe, educational, and memorable experience to participants ages 4 to 15 attending summer camps at the Virginia Aquarium.

Responsibilities

  • Assist campers with hands-on experiments, live animal encounters, nature play, collecting live organisms, and behind-the-scenes encounters.
  • Assist with designing new activities and experiences for campers.
  • Prepare materials and teaching spaces.
  • Communicate with parents to facilitate check-in and check-out procedures.

Qualifications

  • Prefer candidate majoring in science or education.
  • Must have completed at least one year of college or a recent graduate within the past 12 months.
  • Must have the ability to recognize and share teachable moments with campers.
  • Must be able to work actively outdoors and in the water.
  • Experience working with children is a plus.

Position Requirements

The intern will be expected to work with education staff to develop presentation skills and deliver components of the camp to participants. They will work to create activities that tie in with the camp’s theme and present that activity to campers.

Intern Learning Objectives

  • Review camp outlines, activity plans, and animal information to build knowledge.
  • Attend scheduled camp training.
  • Complete Kulture City Sensory training and other sessions to build an understanding of children with special needs.
  • Shadow education staff during camps to build knowledge and presentation skills.
  • Co-instruct with education staff to practice skills and improve ability to communicate effectively with ages 4 to 15.

Intern Schedule

Summer camps take place Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm. May require an adjusted schedule to facilitate early drop-offs and late pick-ups starting at 7:00am or ending at 6:00pm.

Minimum Commitment

A minimum of 120 hours is required.

Intern Supervisor/Mentor

Virginia Aquarium’s School and Youth Specialist.

Work Location

Virginia Aquarium’s Main Building, South Building, and offsite locations.

Application Requirements

A complete Summer Camp Intern application packet must include the following components. Only complete application packets will be considered.

Completed Application Packets

Email the completed application packet to: Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com and copy ATyree@VirginiaAquarium.com. Please put "Summer Camp Intern Application Packet" in the subject line.

OR

Mail your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

717 General Booth Boulevard

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Attn: Volunteer Engagement - Intern Applicant

The Virginia Aquarium’s Guest Engagement Education Division is now accepting Watershed Warrior Intern applications for Summer 2024. There are two unpaid volunteer positions available. The application deadline is March 1, 2024. Notification of acceptance will occur no later than April 15, 2024. The internship duration is flexible between June and August 30, 2024. Please note that all internships are non-compensatory, and the Virginia Aquarium does not provide intern housing. Interns are fully responsible for fulfilling all requirements of their home institutions to receive academic credit.

Position Overview

The Watershed Warrior Intern will be responsible for helping develop and implement the 2024 Watershed Warriors program. The focus will be on developing and implementing fun educational content and activities on the importance of the local watershed. Interns will serve as role models for diverse youth volunteers and mentor them to engage various Virginia Aquarium guests successfully.

Responsibilities

  • Develop station activities and engagements highlighting the importance of watersheds and the roles watersheds play in conservation.
  • Engage a wide variety of audiences at the Aquarium to educate them on how they can take action to protect their local watersheds.
  • Supervise and mentor Watershed volunteers to ensure a positive, fulfilling experience for them and guests at the Virginia Aquarium.
  • Train and coach Watershed volunteers to engage guests while communicating Watershed-specific educational content.
  • Work with Guest Engagement staff to ensure guests' needs are met with excellent customer service.
  • Intern will work with educators to create a Watershed Warriors Program Guide.

Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program or have graduated within the last 12 months.
  • Must be comfortable working in an outdoor, hot, and humid environment.
  • Must have the ability to stand for long periods.
  • Must be familiar with saltmarsh environments and inhabitants.
  • Must be comfortable getting wet and muddy.
  • Must be self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, and responsible. Should work well independently, as well as with a team.
  • Must have the ability to maintain a high energy level in varying conditions.
  • Must have good communication skills and be comfortable with public speaking.
  • Must enjoy working with individuals of all ages.
  • CPR/First Aid certification preferred but not required.

Intern Learning Objectives

  • Develop fundamental engagement skills and test strategies for informal environmental education communication.
  • Gain supervisory and mentoring skills with a diverse adult and youth volunteer team.
  • Facilitate teamwork through positive actions and activities.
  • Deliver a formal report of your experience that includes insight and knowledge gained to be shared with the education staff in an informal presentation.

Intern Schedule

The Watershed Warriors program occurs on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Interns are expected to be available at these times.

Intern Supervisor/Mentor

Virginia Aquarium’s Guest Engagement Supervisor.

Work Location

Virginia Aquarium’s North Building, South Building, and Watershed Exhibit.

Application Requirements

A complete Watershed Warrior Intern application packet must include the following components. Incomplete application packets will not be considered.

Completed Application Packets

Email the completed application packet to: Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com and copy KPBurns@VirginiaAquarium.com. Please put "Watershed Warrior Intern Application Packet" in the subject line.

OR

Mail your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

717 General Booth Boulevard

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Attn: Volunteer Engagement - Intern Applicant

Fellowships

We also offer fellowship opportunities in marine science, animal care, exhibits, and education, to college or post-graduate students. The Batten Fellowship also includes a stipend to help offset personal and incidental expenses. Batten Fellowships fund students to complete work in specific projects and programs.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center's Mammal and Animal Ambassador staff are now accepting applications for an Animal Care Batten Fellow. The application deadline is March 8, 2024. Fellows are expected to work 400 hours over a consecutive three-month period. Fellowships will be fulfilled in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, and positions are subject to change based on the most current recommendations. The Virginia Aquarium does not provide housing.

Fellows are fully responsible for fulfilling all requirements of their home institutions to receive academic credit. This competitive position includes a modest compensation, $15 per hour, to help offset personal and incidental expenses over the appointment period.

Position Overview

The Animal Care Fellow will work with the Mammal and Animal Ambassador teams to complete behavioral studies using Zoo Monitor. The fellow will also be exposed to all aspects of care for our Mammal and Animal Ambassador animals.

Duties

  • Conduct animal observations working with the Zoo Monitor program.
  • Analyze observation data.
  • Create a document or presentation detailing the behavioral data collected and analyzed.
  • Complete diet preparation for a variety of animals. 
  • Clean enclosures, habitats, food prep areas, utensils, buckets, and equipment.  
  • Maintaining thorough records.  
  • Speak on a microphone for educational programs.  

Required Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old. 
  • Must be a rising junior, recent graduate (within five years), or currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in a related field. 
  • Must be self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, and responsible. Should work well independently as well as with a team. 
  • Must be physically fit with the ability to lift 50 pounds and stand for long periods outdoors.
  • Be comfortable in and around open water. 
  • Must be comfortable handling reptiles, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, and mammals. 
  • Must listen to and take direction well. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrate interest in a career in environmental science, animal care, conservation, behavioral management, or related field. 
  • Have excellent communication skills. 
  • Be comfortable talking to guests and providing superior customer service. 

Position Requirements

  • Possess a valid U.S. driver's license. 
  • Pass a City of Virginia Beach background check. 
  • Be available to work during animal care hours, 7:00am - 6:00pm daily, including weekends and holidays. 

Fellowship Learning Objectives

  • Gain knowledge of all aspects of animal husbandry.
  • Develop a strong understanding of operant and classical conditioning.
  • Create a new enrichment device. 
  • Conduct public programs.
  • Deliver a formal presentation of the experience that includes insight and knowledge gained that can be shared with the staff and other fellows in an informal presentation.

Fellow Schedule

The fellow is expected to be available 4 to 5 days per week, with shifts varying between 7:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. Weekend and holiday coverage is expected. 

Minimum Commitment Required

400 hours.

Work Location

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

Application Requirements

A complete Mammals and Animal Ambassador Batten Fellowship application packet must include the following. Incomplete application packets will not be considered.

  • A Cover letter indicating the specific Batten Fellowship opportunity for which you are applying. There is some flexibility with the Fellowship start and end dates; please include any known schedule conflicts.
  • A Fellowship expectations letter. This should detail what you expect to do and gain from your experience.
  • Resume
  • College Transcript(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation. One must be an academic reference.

Completed Application Packet

Email your completed application packet to CHaley@VirginiaAquarium.com and copy Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com. Please type "Animal Care Fellowship" in the subject line. Incomplete application packets will not be considered.

The Virginia Aquarium’s Veterinary Science & Research Division is now accepting applications for Sea Turtle and Marine Mammal Stranding Response Batten Fellowships. The application deadline is February 28, 2024. Fellows are expected to work 400-800 hours over approximately three to six months, starting in May or June. Fellowships will be fulfilled in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, and positions are subject to change based on the most current recommendations. The Virginia Aquarium does not provide housing. Fellows are fully responsible for fulfilling all requirements of their home institutions to receive academic credit. This competitive position includes $15 per hour compensation to help offset personal and incidental expenses over the course of the appointment period.

Position Overview

Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program (VAQS) Fellows promote the conservation of marine animal species through research, response, rehabilitation, and education. Fellows will be trained in all aspects of stranding response. Stranding work is unpredictable; therefore, experiences will vary by fellowship session. VAQS staff will provide as many learning opportunities as possible during each session. Batten Fellows are also expected to complete a focused research project. We work with each accepted Batten Fellow to select a project from predetermined options based on their background, experience, and interests.

Responsibilities

  • Respond to live and dead marine mammals and sea turtles in the field.
  • Participate in all aspects of post-mortem examinations: cutting and sampling, data collection and entry, photographing, report writing, carcass recovery, and cleaning.
  • Perform daily husbandry tasks, including food preparation, feeding, and cleaning the rehab area, kitchen, and associated supplies and equipment.
  • Assist staff with new patients, including daily treatments, restraining animals for exams, collecting vital rates (heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature) and morphometrics, taking photographs, administering medications, and performing wound care.
  • Assist with research projects and field activities involving sea turtles and marine mammals.
  • Ensure response preparedness by stocking response bags, fueling vehicles, cleaning, and restocking gear and supplies.
  • Assist with releases of rehabilitated patients, public outreach events, and volunteer/cooperator training.
  • Assist staff with daily administrative tasks, including answering hotline calls, data entry, and completing response paperwork.
  • Complete other projects and tasks as assigned by VAQS staff.

Required Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be a rising junior or senior, recent graduate, or pursuing a post-graduate degree in a science-based or veterinary program.
  • Must be self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, and responsible. Should work well independently as well as with a team.
  • Must be physically fit and able to lift 50 pounds and walk long distances (>3 mi/5 km) on the beach in adverse conditions such as extreme heat and cold, humidity, rain, and wind.
  • Be able to swim and be comfortable in and around open water and boats.
  • If accepted, willingness to learn how to drive response vehicles is required.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrate interest in a career in marine or veterinary science.
  • Have experience in stranding response, field research, and wild/exotic animal care.
  • Have basic math and computer skills using MS spreadsheets, relational databases, and data entry (advanced programs such as SQL, GIS, R, etc. preferred).
  • Be comfortable around dead and decomposing animals.
  • Be comfortable driving large pick-up trucks and vans.

Position Requirements

  • Attend VAQS orientation and City of Virginia Beach Defensive Driving upon starting.
  • Possess a valid U.S. driver’s license.
  • Pass a City of Virginia Beach background check.
  • Be available to perform support activities (24-7) as needed during the appointment period.

Fellowship Learning Objectives

Develop fundamental hands-on stranding response and rehabilitation skills:

  • Perform basic post-mortem examinations on sea turtles and marine mammals.
  • Perform basic health assessments of rehabilitation patients, including collecting vital rates, treating wounds, administering medications, and processing blood samples.
  • Be able to complete Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) and Marine Mammal Stranding Level A forms.
  • Enter stranding data in Microsoft Access.
  • Complete an individual project with a final deliverable: paper, report, and/or oral presentation.

Fellow Schedule

The fellow is expected to be available 4-5 days per week, either 8:00am-4:30pm or 7:00am-5:30pm. Weekend and holiday coverage is expected.

Commitment Required

400 - 800 hours, approximately 3-6 months, depending on availability.

Fellow Supervisor/Mentor

VAQS Volunteer Manager and Project Supervisor.

Work Location

Virginia Aquarium’s Darden Marine Animal Conservation Center.

Application Requirements

A complete Stranding Response Fellowship application packet must include the following components:

  • Cover letter. There is some flexibility with fellowship start and end dates; please include any known schedule conflicts in your cover letter.
  • Fellowship expectations letter. This should include what you expect to do and gain from your experience.
  • Resume.
  • College transcript(s).
  • Two letters of recommendation; one must be an academic reference. Letters can be sent separately to StrandingVolMgr@VBGov.com.

Completed Application Packets

Email the completed application packet to: Interns@VirginiaAquarium.com and copy StrandingVolMgr@VBGov.com.

Please type "Stranding Response Batten Fellow Application Packet" in the subject line.

OR

Mail your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

717 General Booth Boulevard

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Attn: Volunteer Engagement – Batten Fellow Applican

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